Compliance, risk experts and experienced lenders in demand
By Ashley D. Torres
Miami-Dade County banking and financial jobs are not significantly increasing but experts say there will be selective hiring for executives and experienced lenders as well as positions in compliance and risk management.
"We have seen a defined and impressive increase in demand for banking and financial services professionals at the mid-to-executive level," said Carlos J. Arboleda, executive director of the National Banking & Financial Services Group at Stephen James Associates, "and we expect this growth in hiring to increase more in the coming months."
The financial sector is hiring partly because productivity has suffered as a result of too few employees, Mr. Arboleda said.
In addition, new government regulations and the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a new federal agency in charge of monitoring loans and other services banks sell, have created a need for hires.
"Financial industry regulations and reforms will certainly increase the demand for talent," Mr. Arboleda said, "as institutions battle to keep up with new compliance and reporting guidelines."
These regulations and reforms will result in compliance and risk management positions.
With more assets in US Treasury bonds and securities, which have a lower yield than business loans, said Manuel Lasaga, president of StratInfo, banks will need experienced lenders.
Banks will be in the market to hire professionals with "experience and people who have good track records and can bring good loans to the banks," he said.
Although the banking sector is lean, it needs to generate prime lending opportunities in order to grow revenue.
"We're beginning to see hiring growing at this point and it really follows the recovery," said Dr. Lasaga, "and at the end of the day banks want to generate profitability."
Banks have already begun scouting for good lenders, he said, and people with that type of experience will be in demand. Back-office workers will also be needed to process these new loans.
However, the industry is not near pre-recession levels of activity and a significant increase in jobs is not expected this year.
According to the most recent job figures from the Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation, jobs in financial activities had a loss of 3.5% in July 2010 compared to July 2009. Finance and insurance positions also suffered a 3.8% decline year-over-year.
Overall job growth in finance and banking remains impacted by how well the economy as a whole improves, said Robert Cruz, the county's chief economist.
Nonetheless, Dr. Lasaga said, "we've seen the bulk of the downsizing in the banking in South Florida."